Podcast — 21 Minutes

Episode 17: Jennifer Engel

Podcast — 21 Minutes

Episode 17: Jennifer Engel

On today’s episode, we are joined by Jennifer Engel, an Autism News NetWORK participant and avid gamer. Hear how Jennifer is coping during the pandemic. And did we mention there’s a tortoise?!! #TACOCAT (just listen to the end and you will understand!)

You can follow Dr. Gwynette on Twitter and Instagram.

Music by @MrBobbyKalman

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Dr. Gwynette: Welcome to the Autism News NetWORK podcast. My name is Dr. Frampton Gwynette. You can follow me @DrGwynette on Twitter and Instagram. Our website is theautismnewsnetwork.com, and I am joined today by a participant of the Autism News NetWORK. A very special guest, Ms. Jennifer [Engel 00:00:00:29]. Hello.

Jennifer Engel: Hello.

Dr. Gwynette: How are you doing, Jennifer?

Jennifer Engel: I’m okay.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah? thank you so much for joining us. We have been having our Autism News NetWORK meetings over Zoom on Thursday mornings, haven’t we?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, we’ve worked out the kinks and this is very exciting because it’s our first Zoom podcast.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Tell us about the background behind you.

Jennifer Engel: Oh, I just found it online and thought it was pretty.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, it really is. It’s much better than what most people have or what I have, which is just two boring windows behind us.

Dr. Gwynette: So. Great. So of course the big topic everyone’s talking about is the coronavirus. And I just want to ask you how has the coronavirus made the biggest impact on you?

Jennifer Engel: Just stuck in the house.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah.

Jennifer Engel: Kind of sucks.

Dr. Gwynette: Are there places that you’d like to go in particular that you can’t go to?

Jennifer Engel: I would like to hang out with people, but obviously I can’t right now.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. It’s really tough. Thursday mornings you were getting together with a group of peers at the Autism News NetWORK and how are you keeping in touch with them now?

Jennifer Engel: I have this little app that basically the whole group can use. So yeah, that’s how I can just text them and stuff.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So it’s like a GroupMe?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Now, initially you had mentioned in the group chat that you were really kind of on a low point. What was driving that and then how did you get yourself out of it?

Jennifer Engel: I guess just life being tough. But I eventually calmed down and I’m okay now. I’m over it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Was it anxiety you were experiencing or is it sadness or…

Jennifer Engel: I think it was a lot of anxiety, and sometimes it was a little bit of something else happening to just make me not feel that happy.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, absolutely. I noticed on the group chat that multiple members of the group chat like came in to support you with texts.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. It felt nice.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Not only that, they-

Jennifer Engel: It did help me come out of it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah? How was it helpful?

Jennifer Engel: It just felt like I wasn’t just talking to the void.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. That there wasn’t a void there, that real people care about you.

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: I was so proud of them for coming in to support you because they could tell you needed support. And then you responded to them, you were kind of like, “Thanks guys. I feel better now.”

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. It’s almost like the Autism News NetWORK at its best, where your peers are coming in to support each other. Yeah.

Jennifer Engel: It does feel like that.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Because we’re all social beings, and being alone is not fun. And the coronavirus has made it more difficult. Have you had any thoughts about how long this quarantine may last?

Jennifer Engel: I’m not sure. I feel like it might last like a year. I don’t know. I’m not sure, though. I’ve heard that some things are being lifted already and I’m just like, “Uh-uh (negative), you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t until it’s completely gone.”

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. And-

Jennifer Engel: Because if you just lift things up we’re probably just going to get sick again.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. It seems like it might defeat the purpose, especially if the numbers are so high, you know?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And do you think there’s a lot of anxiety out there? Let’s say they open restaurants, do you think people will be very anxious to go back to the restaurants?

Jennifer Engel: Oh, yeah. I mean there’s going to be some dumb people that just go back like, “Oh, it’s fine.” Like, no.

Dr. Gwynette: Exactly. What-

Jennifer Engel: I feel like people are just going to be very anxious to really go anywhere. I don’t blame them. Once this is completely over.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s right.

Jennifer Engel: At least for a while people are going to be very anxious.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s right. They’re going to be hesitant. Once the coast is clear, do you have the top two or three things that you want to do or places you want to go?

Jennifer Engel: Actually a good question. I’m not sure. I mean again, I want to hang out with some people, but… Yeah. That’s mainly what I want to do.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And when you hang out with people, where do you go?

Jennifer Engel: Probably their house or my house.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And when you’re at their house, what do you guys do?

Jennifer Engel: I mean it depends. I’m not sure.

Dr. Gwynette: You guys watch TV or play video games or…

Jennifer Engel: I mean most of my friends, play games and hang out. Sometimes we do other things, but it’s mostly that. Some of my friends that game a lot.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What are the games that you’re into?

Jennifer Engel: Main one is I’ve been huge into Minecraft again. Yeah, that’s the main one.

Dr. Gwynette: It’s a classic, you know?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Now, I’ve been learning about a new, it’s not a new app, but an app that goes alongside games a lot and it’s called Discord. Can you tell the audience what Discord is?

Jennifer Engel: Okay. So it’s like Skype, but you have a lot more customization options, I would say. Like you can have servers, you can also add bots stuff and multiple voice channels, text channels. So yeah, it’s like Skype, but a lot more improved.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And so I’ve heard that some people will be playing games on their computer, but then on another device or maybe on another side of the monitor, they’ll have Discord going.

Jennifer Engel: I don’t have two monitors, though.

Dr. Gwynette: But is it true that people will Discord chat while they’re playing games?

Jennifer Engel: I mean sometimes, yeah. With some games you can press “shift” and then the button below the escape button with some games, and then it will just pull it up while you’re in a game.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. And so that’s a way you can communicate with other players?

Jennifer Engel: Well, that’s the way I communicate with my friends. You have to add people to really talk to them. Unless you join a server, which I don’t really talk in servers.

Dr. Gwynette: For those who don’t know, what’s a server?

Jennifer Engel: Basically it’s a lot better because you can have a normal group chat, but I can only add 10 people. Server, I’m not sure what the max is, but it’s a lot. It’s a lot more than 10.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. So you can talk to a whole big group of people?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And are you on multiple servers or do you kind of keep it small?

Jennifer Engel: I kind of keep it small. I only joined some servers because there’s this thing called “global emotes.” Because usually to use emotes that aren’t basic emojis, you have to have Nitro, which costs money. But there’s global emotes, which are free, but you have to join these servers. That’s the only reason why I joined them.

Dr. Gwynette: So you can use the fun emoji.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah, you can use global emotes.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What’s your favorite global emote?

Jennifer Engel: I’m not sure.

Dr. Gwynette: But just to give us [crosstalk 00:09:12]-

Jennifer Engel: There’s a lot.

Dr. Gwynette: … what kind of things they are.

Jennifer Engel: They can be all sorts of things. My favorite one is this little cat holding a heart.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. Oh that’s cool.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And that’s a great segue because I know you’re an animal lover, aren’t you?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And tell us about your pets.

Jennifer Engel: Well I… Well, the whole family, we have a dog named Toby. It’s a little shih tzu.

Dr. Gwynette: Oh, cute.

Jennifer Engel: He’s a playful little goofball.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. Is Toby, is he crate trained or does he roam in the house?

Jennifer Engel: He walks around the house.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And where does he choose to sleep at night?

Jennifer Engel: We have these little beds for him.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay.

Jennifer Engel: That’s usually where he sleeps.

Dr. Gwynette: And then you got an exotic pet too, right?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. I got a tortoise-

Dr. Gwynette: Oh cool.

Jennifer Engel: … named Gizmo.

Dr. Gwynette: Gizmo. And where did you get Gizmo?

Jennifer Engel: I really love turtles and tortoises. So I was like, “I want one.” I think we got him at a pet place. I don’t remember what it was because it was such a long time ago.

Dr. Gwynette: And how old is he?

Jennifer Engel: I think he’s a few years old now.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. And do they have a long lifespan?

Jennifer Engel: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. They have a very long lifespan.

Dr. Gwynette: How long do they typically live for?

Jennifer Engel: I read some website that said like, 50 plus. And then I’ve read something that said 80 plus.

Dr. Gwynette: Whoa.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. They live a long time.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s a commitment. Do you know-

Jennifer Engel: Sometimes they live longer than the owners.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, you got to make a plan for that.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s pretty wild. Do you know what breed of tortoise it is?

Jennifer Engel: A Russian tortoise.

Dr. Gwynette: A Russian-

Jennifer Engel: Since they kind of stay small. That’s why I got him. Because a lot of tortoises, they get giant.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s small. So it’s not like you got to get a whole bunch of food to feed the tortoise and…

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. And-

Jennifer Engel: They can get giant. I mean I would like a really big tortoise, but I don’t think I can.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. It’d be like, “Okay mom and dad. This is going to be a big one.” What about, where does Gizmo hang out? Does he have a cage or is he in the yard?

Jennifer Engel: He has a little kind of, not really crate, more like those plastic tubs that we use. We filled it with dirt and put some stuff in there. His food dish. Also, his little water dish. And that’s where he hangs out.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s cool.

Jennifer Engel: But I sometimes like… We have this little thing outside, so he doesn’t escape. We put them out there for [inaudible 00:12:24], so he can stretch out and exercise.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Awesome. Does he like people?

Jennifer Engel: What?

Dr. Gwynette: Does he like people or like to be held.

Jennifer Engel: He hisses us a lot. He’s very shy, I guess. He hides.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, not a people guy.

Jennifer Engel: But then he kind of gets used to it, I guess. I don’t know.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s awesome. That’s really cool. Yeah. So I know this is not your first podcast, right?

Jennifer Engel: No.

Dr. Gwynette: You’re a veteran podcaster now and we did a Star Wars podcast with you and Avery and Magnus, right? A few months ago. Have you listened back to it?

Jennifer Engel: I keep forgetting to. I need to actually listen to that. I’ll probably listen to it while I game today.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, it’s hard sometimes to hear our own voice. You know, so a lot of people don’t want to listen to it.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. I hate my voice on recordings.

Dr. Gwynette: But for our audience, that was one of our most popular podcasts. Something about Star Wars just gets people fired up. You educated me that there was a guy who does reviews on Star Wars, right?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. He did this super in deep analysis. Let me check how long the videos are. Oh my lord.

Dr. Gwynette: It was like hours, right?

Jennifer Engel: Oh, yeah. I listened to the whole thing, though.

Dr. Gwynette: I remember.

Jennifer Engel: Okay, so it’s called, “Critique of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Okay. So the first video is an hour and 22 minutes and then the second one is an hour, 48 minutes. And then the last one is an hour and 52 minutes. So that’s about four or five hours.

Dr. Gwynette: He’s just going off on it.

Jennifer Engel: It’s just completely in deep. Like almost every scene.

Dr. Gwynette: It’s almost like he-

Jennifer Engel: [crosstalk 00:14:26] what’s wrong and what they could have done better.

Dr. Gwynette: What’s the name of the guy who recorded those?

Jennifer Engel: Mauler.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. M-A-U-L-E-R?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. He could teach a college class on that movie.

Jennifer Engel: Probably.

Dr. Gwynette: That is great. Yeah. So we just had a couple more questions for you. I see you with headphones a lot and I think-

Jennifer Engel: Oh, these are earbuds.

Dr. Gwynette: Or earbuds. Yeah. What do you listen to?

Jennifer Engel: I’m listening to this call. Not really listen to anything else right now.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. What’d you say it’s called? Oh, you’re listening to this call. But I mean, when you’re not on a Zoom call, are you a music fan?

Jennifer Engel: Oh, yeah. I listen to music a ton.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Who are some of your favorite artists?

Jennifer Engel: Not sure. A lot of time it’s just instrumentals or soundtracks from games. That’s a lot of it. Or remixes of soundtracks from games.

Dr. Gwynette: Cool. What are some of the games that you like those soundtracks?

Jennifer Engel: A lot of it’s Undertale. That has a very good soundtrack.

Dr. Gwynette: Really?

Jennifer Engel: And Deltarune, which is kind of like, I guess, a sequel? I’m not sure.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So you said Undertale and-

Jennifer Engel: Undertale, yeah. And Deltarune.

Dr. Gwynette: Deltarune?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Interesting. So our audience will have to check that out.

Jennifer Engel: They’re very good soundtracks.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And where do you get those? Do you download them or stream them?

Jennifer Engel: I just listen to them from [inaudible 00:16:04].

Dr. Gwynette: Okay.

Jennifer Engel: People just post it online.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. That’s neat. Okay. And a lot of people are binging on shows and things like that. Have you discovered any new shows?

Jennifer Engel: Not really. I need to try a lot of anime, but I’m just stuck on this one that I never finish.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:16:30]

Jennifer Engel: What?

Dr. Gwynette: Which one is that?

Jennifer Engel: I’m stuck on [inaudible 00:16:37]. I need to finish part five, but I keep getting sidetracked.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. That’s the thing about series is that it’s a commitment, you have to see it all the way through.

Jennifer Engel: There is some anime that have 800-plus episodes. I’m like, Oh my God. Imagine just starting that.

Dr. Gwynette: Really?

Jennifer Engel: I’m not joking. 800-plus and some of them are still going.

Dr. Gwynette: Wow. That is a ton. That’s more than [crosstalk 00:17:08].

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. Yeah, that’s a ton.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Jennifer Engel: I’m just like, “I don’t know about that.” Some of them look very interesting and I would like to try them out, but I don’t know about 800-plus episodes.

Dr. Gwynette: Like, “Man, if I watch the first one, do I have room for the other 799?”

Jennifer Engel: Let me check how many this one anime called “One Piece” has.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Jennifer Engel: Oh my goodness. How many episodes does “One Piece” have? 925.

Dr. Gwynette: That is unreal. And that’s coming out of Japan?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s a lot of work.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s like a lifetime.

Jennifer Engel: 925. Oh, my… That is insane.

Dr. Gwynette: That really is.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: So I’m interested, as an animal lover, have you heard about “Tiger King” or watched it?

Jennifer Engel: What is that?

Dr. Gwynette: It’s a Netflix-

Jennifer Engel: Oh, like a show?

Dr. Gwynette: I think it’s called “The Tiger King,” and it’s about a guy who… It’s about a group of people who have big cats on display in either a zoo or a sanctuary. Yeah, it’s pretty wild. It’s kind of an adult show, but definitely… It’s very polarizing in terms of how they treat animals. There’s some people feel like they’re being cruel-

Jennifer Engel: I kind of watch mature stuff sometimes.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. All right, cool. So a couple of last questions. Any favorite quarantine foods?

Jennifer Engel: That’s a good question. I mean, I love macaroni and cheese. I love pasta. That’s my favorite thing ever.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. So your survival package is mac and cheese, pasta.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s awesome. Yeah, we got to do what we can to get through, you know?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: All right, cool. Any other things that you want to mention to the audience today?

Jennifer Engel: Stay safe. Stay at home. Unless you need to, like shopping for food and stuff. Yeah, just stay at home.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, that’s good advice. Absolutely. And lastly as we wrap up, I’m going to start a sentence and I hope Jennifer can finish it for me. Taco cat spelled… Wait, wait, wait. Taco cat backwards spells…

Jennifer Engel: Tacocat.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s our favorite palindrome. So this is the tacocat episode. But no, thank you so much Jennifer for doing this. I know this is a stressful time and I think by recording this podcast you’re helping others out there get through it with some really encouraging and entertaining discussion. So thank you again. This is Dr. Gwynette with the Autism News NetWORK joined today by Jennifer Engel, an Autism News NetWORK member and participant. And [inaudible 00:20:16] follow our website theautismnewsnetwork.com. You can see us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and you can follow me @DrGwynette on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks so much for joining us. We’ll see you next time. Bye, Jennifer.

Jennifer Engel: Okay. Bye.

Dr. Gwynette: Welcome to the Autism News NetWORK podcast. My name is Dr. Frampton Gwynette. You can follow me @DrGwynette on Twitter and Instagram. Our website is theautismnewsnetwork.com, and I am joined today by a participant of the Autism News NetWORK. A very special guest, Ms. Jennifer [Engel 00:00:00:29]. Hello.

Jennifer Engel: Hello.

Dr. Gwynette: How are you doing, Jennifer?

Jennifer Engel: I’m okay.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah? thank you so much for joining us. We have been having our Autism News NetWORK meetings over Zoom on Thursday mornings, haven’t we?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, we’ve worked out the kinks and this is very exciting because it’s our first Zoom podcast.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Tell us about the background behind you.

Jennifer Engel: Oh, I just found it online and thought it was pretty.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, it really is. It’s much better than what most people have or what I have, which is just two boring windows behind us.

Dr. Gwynette: So. Great. So of course the big topic everyone’s talking about is the coronavirus. And I just want to ask you how has the coronavirus made the biggest impact on you?

Jennifer Engel: Just stuck in the house.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah.

Jennifer Engel: Kind of sucks.

Dr. Gwynette: Are there places that you’d like to go in particular that you can’t go to?

Jennifer Engel: I would like to hang out with people, but obviously I can’t right now.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. It’s really tough. Thursday mornings you were getting together with a group of peers at the Autism News NetWORK and how are you keeping in touch with them now?

Jennifer Engel: I have this little app that basically the whole group can use. So yeah, that’s how I can just text them and stuff.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So it’s like a GroupMe?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Now, initially you had mentioned in the group chat that you were really kind of on a low point. What was driving that and then how did you get yourself out of it?

Jennifer Engel: I guess just life being tough. But I eventually calmed down and I’m okay now. I’m over it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Was it anxiety you were experiencing or is it sadness or…

Jennifer Engel: I think it was a lot of anxiety, and sometimes it was a little bit of something else happening to just make me not feel that happy.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, absolutely. I noticed on the group chat that multiple members of the group chat like came in to support you with texts.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. It felt nice.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Not only that, they-

Jennifer Engel: It did help me come out of it.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah? How was it helpful?

Jennifer Engel: It just felt like I wasn’t just talking to the void.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. That there wasn’t a void there, that real people care about you.

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: I was so proud of them for coming in to support you because they could tell you needed support. And then you responded to them, you were kind of like, “Thanks guys. I feel better now.”

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. It’s almost like the Autism News NetWORK at its best, where your peers are coming in to support each other. Yeah.

Jennifer Engel: It does feel like that.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Because we’re all social beings, and being alone is not fun. And the coronavirus has made it more difficult. Have you had any thoughts about how long this quarantine may last?

Jennifer Engel: I’m not sure. I feel like it might last like a year. I don’t know. I’m not sure, though. I’ve heard that some things are being lifted already and I’m just like, “Uh-uh (negative), you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t until it’s completely gone.”

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. And-

Jennifer Engel: Because if you just lift things up we’re probably just going to get sick again.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. It seems like it might defeat the purpose, especially if the numbers are so high, you know?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And do you think there’s a lot of anxiety out there? Let’s say they open restaurants, do you think people will be very anxious to go back to the restaurants?

Jennifer Engel: Oh, yeah. I mean there’s going to be some dumb people that just go back like, “Oh, it’s fine.” Like, no.

Dr. Gwynette: Exactly. What-

Jennifer Engel: I feel like people are just going to be very anxious to really go anywhere. I don’t blame them. Once this is completely over.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s right.

Jennifer Engel: At least for a while people are going to be very anxious.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s right. They’re going to be hesitant. Once the coast is clear, do you have the top two or three things that you want to do or places you want to go?

Jennifer Engel: Actually a good question. I’m not sure. I mean again, I want to hang out with some people, but… Yeah. That’s mainly what I want to do.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And when you hang out with people, where do you go?

Jennifer Engel: Probably their house or my house.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And when you’re at their house, what do you guys do?

Jennifer Engel: I mean it depends. I’m not sure.

Dr. Gwynette: You guys watch TV or play video games or…

Jennifer Engel: I mean most of my friends, play games and hang out. Sometimes we do other things, but it’s mostly that. Some of my friends that game a lot.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What are the games that you’re into?

Jennifer Engel: Main one is I’ve been huge into Minecraft again. Yeah, that’s the main one.

Dr. Gwynette: It’s a classic, you know?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Now, I’ve been learning about a new, it’s not a new app, but an app that goes alongside games a lot and it’s called Discord. Can you tell the audience what Discord is?

Jennifer Engel: Okay. So it’s like Skype, but you have a lot more customization options, I would say. Like you can have servers, you can also add bots stuff and multiple voice channels, text channels. So yeah, it’s like Skype, but a lot more improved.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And so I’ve heard that some people will be playing games on their computer, but then on another device or maybe on another side of the monitor, they’ll have Discord going.

Jennifer Engel: I don’t have two monitors, though.

Dr. Gwynette: But is it true that people will Discord chat while they’re playing games?

Jennifer Engel: I mean sometimes, yeah. With some games you can press “shift” and then the button below the escape button with some games, and then it will just pull it up while you’re in a game.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. And so that’s a way you can communicate with other players?

Jennifer Engel: Well, that’s the way I communicate with my friends. You have to add people to really talk to them. Unless you join a server, which I don’t really talk in servers.

Dr. Gwynette: For those who don’t know, what’s a server?

Jennifer Engel: Basically it’s a lot better because you can have a normal group chat, but I can only add 10 people. Server, I’m not sure what the max is, but it’s a lot. It’s a lot more than 10.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. So you can talk to a whole big group of people?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And are you on multiple servers or do you kind of keep it small?

Jennifer Engel: I kind of keep it small. I only joined some servers because there’s this thing called “global emotes.” Because usually to use emotes that aren’t basic emojis, you have to have Nitro, which costs money. But there’s global emotes, which are free, but you have to join these servers. That’s the only reason why I joined them.

Dr. Gwynette: So you can use the fun emoji.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah, you can use global emotes.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. What’s your favorite global emote?

Jennifer Engel: I’m not sure.

Dr. Gwynette: But just to give us [crosstalk 00:09:12]-

Jennifer Engel: There’s a lot.

Dr. Gwynette: … what kind of things they are.

Jennifer Engel: They can be all sorts of things. My favorite one is this little cat holding a heart.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. Oh that’s cool.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And that’s a great segue because I know you’re an animal lover, aren’t you?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And tell us about your pets.

Jennifer Engel: Well I… Well, the whole family, we have a dog named Toby. It’s a little shih tzu.

Dr. Gwynette: Oh, cute.

Jennifer Engel: He’s a playful little goofball.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. Is Toby, is he crate trained or does he roam in the house?

Jennifer Engel: He walks around the house.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And where does he choose to sleep at night?

Jennifer Engel: We have these little beds for him.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay.

Jennifer Engel: That’s usually where he sleeps.

Dr. Gwynette: And then you got an exotic pet too, right?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. I got a tortoise-

Dr. Gwynette: Oh cool.

Jennifer Engel: … named Gizmo.

Dr. Gwynette: Gizmo. And where did you get Gizmo?

Jennifer Engel: I really love turtles and tortoises. So I was like, “I want one.” I think we got him at a pet place. I don’t remember what it was because it was such a long time ago.

Dr. Gwynette: And how old is he?

Jennifer Engel: I think he’s a few years old now.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. And do they have a long lifespan?

Jennifer Engel: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. They have a very long lifespan.

Dr. Gwynette: How long do they typically live for?

Jennifer Engel: I read some website that said like, 50 plus. And then I’ve read something that said 80 plus.

Dr. Gwynette: Whoa.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. They live a long time.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s a commitment. Do you know-

Jennifer Engel: Sometimes they live longer than the owners.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, you got to make a plan for that.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s pretty wild. Do you know what breed of tortoise it is?

Jennifer Engel: A Russian tortoise.

Dr. Gwynette: A Russian-

Jennifer Engel: Since they kind of stay small. That’s why I got him. Because a lot of tortoises, they get giant.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s small. So it’s not like you got to get a whole bunch of food to feed the tortoise and…

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. And-

Jennifer Engel: They can get giant. I mean I would like a really big tortoise, but I don’t think I can.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. It’d be like, “Okay mom and dad. This is going to be a big one.” What about, where does Gizmo hang out? Does he have a cage or is he in the yard?

Jennifer Engel: He has a little kind of, not really crate, more like those plastic tubs that we use. We filled it with dirt and put some stuff in there. His food dish. Also, his little water dish. And that’s where he hangs out.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s cool.

Jennifer Engel: But I sometimes like… We have this little thing outside, so he doesn’t escape. We put them out there for [inaudible 00:12:24], so he can stretch out and exercise.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Awesome. Does he like people?

Jennifer Engel: What?

Dr. Gwynette: Does he like people or like to be held.

Jennifer Engel: He hisses us a lot. He’s very shy, I guess. He hides.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, not a people guy.

Jennifer Engel: But then he kind of gets used to it, I guess. I don’t know.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s awesome. That’s really cool. Yeah. So I know this is not your first podcast, right?

Jennifer Engel: No.

Dr. Gwynette: You’re a veteran podcaster now and we did a Star Wars podcast with you and Avery and Magnus, right? A few months ago. Have you listened back to it?

Jennifer Engel: I keep forgetting to. I need to actually listen to that. I’ll probably listen to it while I game today.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, it’s hard sometimes to hear our own voice. You know, so a lot of people don’t want to listen to it.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. I hate my voice on recordings.

Dr. Gwynette: But for our audience, that was one of our most popular podcasts. Something about Star Wars just gets people fired up. You educated me that there was a guy who does reviews on Star Wars, right?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. He did this super in deep analysis. Let me check how long the videos are. Oh my lord.

Dr. Gwynette: It was like hours, right?

Jennifer Engel: Oh, yeah. I listened to the whole thing, though.

Dr. Gwynette: I remember.

Jennifer Engel: Okay, so it’s called, “Critique of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Okay. So the first video is an hour and 22 minutes and then the second one is an hour, 48 minutes. And then the last one is an hour and 52 minutes. So that’s about four or five hours.

Dr. Gwynette: He’s just going off on it.

Jennifer Engel: It’s just completely in deep. Like almost every scene.

Dr. Gwynette: It’s almost like he-

Jennifer Engel: [crosstalk 00:14:26] what’s wrong and what they could have done better.

Dr. Gwynette: What’s the name of the guy who recorded those?

Jennifer Engel: Mauler.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. M-A-U-L-E-R?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. He could teach a college class on that movie.

Jennifer Engel: Probably.

Dr. Gwynette: That is great. Yeah. So we just had a couple more questions for you. I see you with headphones a lot and I think-

Jennifer Engel: Oh, these are earbuds.

Dr. Gwynette: Or earbuds. Yeah. What do you listen to?

Jennifer Engel: I’m listening to this call. Not really listen to anything else right now.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. What’d you say it’s called? Oh, you’re listening to this call. But I mean, when you’re not on a Zoom call, are you a music fan?

Jennifer Engel: Oh, yeah. I listen to music a ton.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. Who are some of your favorite artists?

Jennifer Engel: Not sure. A lot of time it’s just instrumentals or soundtracks from games. That’s a lot of it. Or remixes of soundtracks from games.

Dr. Gwynette: Cool. What are some of the games that you like those soundtracks?

Jennifer Engel: A lot of it’s Undertale. That has a very good soundtrack.

Dr. Gwynette: Really?

Jennifer Engel: And Deltarune, which is kind of like, I guess, a sequel? I’m not sure.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. So you said Undertale and-

Jennifer Engel: Undertale, yeah. And Deltarune.

Dr. Gwynette: Deltarune?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: Interesting. So our audience will have to check that out.

Jennifer Engel: They’re very good soundtracks.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. And where do you get those? Do you download them or stream them?

Jennifer Engel: I just listen to them from [inaudible 00:16:04].

Dr. Gwynette: Okay.

Jennifer Engel: People just post it online.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. That’s neat. Okay. And a lot of people are binging on shows and things like that. Have you discovered any new shows?

Jennifer Engel: Not really. I need to try a lot of anime, but I’m just stuck on this one that I never finish.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:16:30]

Jennifer Engel: What?

Dr. Gwynette: Which one is that?

Jennifer Engel: I’m stuck on [inaudible 00:16:37]. I need to finish part five, but I keep getting sidetracked.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. That’s the thing about series is that it’s a commitment, you have to see it all the way through.

Jennifer Engel: There is some anime that have 800-plus episodes. I’m like, Oh my God. Imagine just starting that.

Dr. Gwynette: Really?

Jennifer Engel: I’m not joking. 800-plus and some of them are still going.

Dr. Gwynette: Wow. That is a ton. That’s more than [crosstalk 00:17:08].

Jennifer Engel: Yeah. Yeah, that’s a ton.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Jennifer Engel: I’m just like, “I don’t know about that.” Some of them look very interesting and I would like to try them out, but I don’t know about 800-plus episodes.

Dr. Gwynette: Like, “Man, if I watch the first one, do I have room for the other 799?”

Jennifer Engel: Let me check how many this one anime called “One Piece” has.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah.

Jennifer Engel: Oh my goodness. How many episodes does “One Piece” have? 925.

Dr. Gwynette: That is unreal. And that’s coming out of Japan?

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s a lot of work.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s like a lifetime.

Jennifer Engel: 925. Oh, my… That is insane.

Dr. Gwynette: That really is.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: So I’m interested, as an animal lover, have you heard about “Tiger King” or watched it?

Jennifer Engel: What is that?

Dr. Gwynette: It’s a Netflix-

Jennifer Engel: Oh, like a show?

Dr. Gwynette: I think it’s called “The Tiger King,” and it’s about a guy who… It’s about a group of people who have big cats on display in either a zoo or a sanctuary. Yeah, it’s pretty wild. It’s kind of an adult show, but definitely… It’s very polarizing in terms of how they treat animals. There’s some people feel like they’re being cruel-

Jennifer Engel: I kind of watch mature stuff sometimes.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah. All right, cool. So a couple of last questions. Any favorite quarantine foods?

Jennifer Engel: That’s a good question. I mean, I love macaroni and cheese. I love pasta. That’s my favorite thing ever.

Dr. Gwynette: Okay. So your survival package is mac and cheese, pasta.

Jennifer Engel: Yeah.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s awesome. Yeah, we got to do what we can to get through, you know?

Jennifer Engel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Gwynette: All right, cool. Any other things that you want to mention to the audience today?

Jennifer Engel: Stay safe. Stay at home. Unless you need to, like shopping for food and stuff. Yeah, just stay at home.

Dr. Gwynette: Yeah, that’s good advice. Absolutely. And lastly as we wrap up, I’m going to start a sentence and I hope Jennifer can finish it for me. Taco cat spelled… Wait, wait, wait. Taco cat backwards spells…

Jennifer Engel: Tacocat.

Dr. Gwynette: That’s our favorite palindrome. So this is the tacocat episode. But no, thank you so much Jennifer for doing this. I know this is a stressful time and I think by recording this podcast you’re helping others out there get through it with some really encouraging and entertaining discussion. So thank you again. This is Dr. Gwynette with the Autism News NetWORK joined today by Jennifer Engel, an Autism News NetWORK member and participant. And [inaudible 00:20:16] follow our website theautismnewsnetwork.com. You can see us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and you can follow me @DrGwynette on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks so much for joining us. We’ll see you next time. Bye, Jennifer.

Jennifer Engel: Okay. Bye.

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